Doncaster's crumbling Grand Theatre given £11,000 grant to look at reopening plan

A historic Doncaster theatre which has been shut for 26 years has been handed a cash grant – with the view to it re-opening.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 6:47 am
Doncaster's Grand Theatre has been closed for more than 25 years.

The Grand Theatre has been falling into disrepair for nearly three decades, since closing down as a bingo hall in 1995.

Now the Theatres Trust has handed Doncaster Council £11,500 to look at the feasibility of restoring and re-opening of the ornate Grade II listed Victorian theatre.

The venue, sandwiched between Sainsbury’s supermarket and the Frenchgate Interchange, has been on the Theatres at Risk Register since the list started in 2006.

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Campaigners have mounted a long running drive to reopen the theatre.

It has been the subject of a long running campaign by the Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre to restore it to its former glory.

The authority has been awarded a Theatres at Risk Capacity Building grant to part-fund a viability study for the theatre.

The study will be led by the local authority with involvement from the Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre and the building owner, Frenchgate Limited Partnership.

The programme is designed to support theatres on the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Register to commission expert advice and acquire the skills and knowledge to push forward capital projects to help save these architecturally important theatres.

Claire Appleby of Theatres Trust, said: “We believe every theatre on our at risk list has the potential to be returned for use by their communities, providing performance venues of types currently lacking in their local areas and bringing much needed footfall to beleaguered high streets.

"We are pleased to support these theatres as we know from experience that these early stages can make a crucial difference to the progress of theatre revitalisation

projects.”